One woman's mother put off her estate planning, and in fact, she never got around to it at all. When she passed away, she did not leave a trust, a will or any other documentation.
Her death was unexpected, which could be part of the reason why. Many people assume they still have a long time to do their estate planning when they could actually pass away from a car accident, a sudden illness or some other unexpected event in the very near future.
When it happens, it puts a lot of stress on the family during what is already a difficult time.
"We can't even mourn our own mom right now," the woman said in an interview. "We are too busy trying to take care of her estate. That's hard...We had to leave my mom while she was dying in the hospice house to try and get more paperwork done for her estate."
It took away valuable time that they could have spent together in her last days. Instead, the family had to sort everything out on their own.
"You have every emotion you could ever have, because you are about to lose your loved one, and you have to deal with everything else on top of it," the woman added.
That's not the legacy that you want to leave for your family. Even a simple estate plan can help take some of the stress off of their shoulders. It can allow them to properly grieve and focus on what is really important. Make sure you know exactly what steps you can take.